Local politicians Jonathan Edwards MP and Adam Price AM are backing the Small Business Saturday initiative this weekend by pledging to do as much of their Christmas shopping as possible in local, independent stores.
The Carmarthen East and Dinefwr duo are once again backing the initiative, now in its fifth year, which encourages small shops to advertise their businesses and for shoppers to support their local high street.
Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards said the year-on-year growth in on-line shopping continued to bring challenging conditions for local traders, but he pointed to statistics from the Federation of Small Businesses which shows money spent locally has a more positive effect on the local economy.
Noting that small businesses were the "lifeblood of the Welsh economy", Assembly Member Adam Price pointed out that the Small Business Saturday initiative had a series of online tools to assist local stores boost in-store sales.
Jonathan Edwards MP said:
"As the big corporations spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on advertising their so-called Black Friday bonanzas, Adam and I are pledging to do as much of our Christmas shopping as possible in local stores as part of our commitment to the annual Small Business Saturday initiative.
"The Federation of Small Businesses estimates that for every pound spent at an independent company, around 70p stays in the local economy. Remarkably it estimates just 5% of turnover from a supermarket stays local.
"The growth of online shopping, with the ability to order at a click of a button whilst sat on the sofa, continues to bring challenges for local traders, but it's important to stress that supporting our smaller stores has so many positive effects from the vibrancy of our high streets to sustaining local employment.
"We of course recognise that Christmas can be a time of hardship for many families, but we would urge all those who can support local stores to do so, particularly over these next few weeks."
Assembly Member Adam Price said:
"Without doubt, small businesses are the lifeblood of the Welsh economy. Their interests and those of the Carmarthenshire economy can be served well if we all pledge to do at least some of our shopping in local stores this Christmas.
"The Small Business Saturday initiative offers tools for local stores to promote their business, including a comprehensive marketing pack and social media guidance to help our local towns compete with the advertising blank cheque available to multinational companies. The initiative is also way for traders to use the internet to boost local, in-store sales.
"The biggest problem I have each Christmas is working out what to get each family member. But what better way to get inspiration for those gifts than to spend a bit of time supporting the local traders who themselves invest so much to help keep our high streets going?"